Bioethanol plant in Denmark inaugurated

By Lisa Gibson
Posted November 19, 2009, at 1:25 p.m. CST

The Inbicon A/S bioethanol plant in Kalundborg, Denmark, will be prepared to distribute its first stock of fuel next year, with the capacity to produce 5.4 million liters (1.4 million gallons) annually.

The facility, one of the world's first demonstration plants for second-generation bioethanol, was inaugurated Nov. 18 by His Royal Highness Prince Joachim and will run on about 30,000 metric tons (33,000 tons) of straw per year, according to Inbicon, a Dong Energy technology company. Danisco Genecor and Novozymes will provide the enzymes to the plant, which will employ about 30 people. The plant also will produce 13,000 metric tons of lignin pellets per year, used as fuel at combined-heat-and-power plants, and 11,100 metric tons of C5 molasses, used for animal feed, according to Dong. It's a unique technology with minimum waste, according to Kathrine Westermann, international media advisor for Dong Energy.

The total cost of construction is 400 million Danish kroner (DKK) ($80 million), supported by 76.7 million DKK from the Danish Energy Development & Demonstration Programme, according to Dong. Demonstration is supported by the European Seventh Framework Programme with 67.7 million DKK. The European Seventh Framework also supported plant design at an earlier stage.

Norway-based Statoil will distribute the bioethanol to target markets in the U.S. and Asia, among others, Westermann said. Inbicon has already sold 5 million liters of ethanol to Statoil, according to Dong. A number of business delegations have been visiting the site in Kalundborg and Dong is close to signing a deal with a U.S. company, she added.

Part of the fleet of cars that will be transporting delegates around Copenhagen, Denmark, at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in December will be running on Inbicon's bioethanol mixed with petrol, according to Niels Handrikson, Inbicon CEO.

During the Nov. 18 inauguration, Prince Joachim was accompanied by executives and representatives from Dong Energy, the EUPD program and the EU Commission, according to Dong.